My Sunday was pretty terrific. I had plans with a friend that fell through. It actually turned into a blessing in disguise. I was able to clean the house and knock out some volunteer work. So, it turned out to be way more productive than I had originally planned.
One of the things that I was looking forward to completing today was attending a live, free training. Although I didn't carve out time to attend it live, I knew that a link to the recording would be provided. So, in an effort to continue my productive efforts earlier today, I chose to wait for the recording.
Shortly after the training concluded, I received a prompt email with a link to the training. Awesome! As I read the entire email, my conscious self realized I was irritated and disappointed. Why? Because it was a sales pitch to sign up for another training...one with a significant fee.
Now, I know this host and others like her need to make a living. I completely get that. I also realize that I, too, have a business and need to sell my services. What I don't like is the FEELING that a "free" training is disguised as a sales pitch. (I want to be fair. I've not reviewed the training. Once I do, I may determine that the training truly was beneficial in and of itself, and not full of just fluff and gimmicky tricks to get me to sign up for a pricey course.) A feeling of disappointment came simply from reading the email. I held out hope that this training would truly be free.
My irritability and disappointment is making me think about how I communicate with my clients. I value transparency and honesty. If I offer something for free, I want it to be free. When I offer a free consultation, I'm very clear about what the client can expect. It's purely an opportunity for him/her to understand what life coaching is and is not, and determine whether the topics they'd like to tackle are appropriate for life coaching. When I offer free services, that's what they are - FREE. There's no trickery about it. You get my services, all that I have to offer, for the time frame agreed to.
I'm also conscious of the possibility that I may not be able to sustain a business this way. One of the reasons many small businesses don't succeed is because they can't sell well...they can't "close the deal." I am fully aware of this challenge. With that said, I am hopeful that I will always adopt a method to sell my services that honors my values and doesn't leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
Be open to what comes.